NCW’s Proposed Changes to CRPC 125 (Maintenance Clause)

English: Alimony - acrylic on canvas 12" ...

Recently I was going through the Annual Report of NCW for 2011. The Annual Report proposed many draconian changes in CRPC 125 (Maintenance Clause). Now this clause is primarily used by an errant wife for filing maintenance. Even well educated (Doctors, CAs, MBAs etc… ) and able bodied ladies file for maintenance. This section has more or less become a tool for extracting money from the husband.

Now in the past there were a couple of defenses available to the husband which were only applicable in very special cases. NCW’s recent proposed amendments targets at removing those defenses and promote ‘Parasitism‘ for women. The list of amendments being –

  1. Step child needs to be maintained:[i] This implies if the wife has a child from previous marriage, the husband (who is not the father) is liable to maintain this child. Here there is a serious question of law, why should a 3rd person maintain someone else’s child?
  1. Maintain Girlfriends:[ii] Boyfriends beware, after this amendment, you will be legally liable to maintain your girlfriends in a live-in relationship. Now by chance you have multiple girlfriends, you will need to maintain all your girlfriends.
  1. Garnishee Order:[iii] The court to pass garnishee orders whereby the man’s salary will be automatically be deducted and maintenance be given to the wife / girlfriend directly.
  1. This one is a killer – Wife’e capacity to earn not to be taken on record[iv]. This means that if the wife / girlfriend is well educated say a heart surgeon or a CA but currently not working, then its the liability of the man to pay maintenance. She may be able to earn lakhs per month but that is irrelevant. In essence a wife / girlfriend can leave job apply for a hefty maintenance and then again start working. Now suppose, the man is not working, but has the capacity to earn, that will be taken into account and be used in deciding maintenance. Even if the man has been laid-off, he is liable to pay maintenance. (Though he may file for revision in such cases)
  1. The estate of the man to include family property[v]. Which means that the man’s  father’s / ancestral property will be treated as his property and maintenance order will be granted taking that into account. Now as this family property is treated as the man’s estate, orders may be passed for attaching the same to recover maintenance (as per my reading of the provision).

Some further, miscellaneous changes are given below –

  1. The payment of maintenance will be applicable now from the date of application and not the date of order. This change will get more funds into wife’s kitty.[vi].
  1. Domestic violence and keeping a mistress has become a just ground for a woman for not living with the man[vii].
  1. If husband cannot prove adultery he has to pay compensation to wife. Further, such trials to be kept private to protect the dignity of wife[viii].
  1. Providing details of all assets to now become duty of husband legally[ix]. Now the Courts can demand evidence against the man from the man (ie demanding evidence against you from you). This provision is against the Constitutional rights which is ‘Right against self-incrimination’, article 20(3) which states – “No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself” (Seipsum Accusare). By adding this clause the man is being required to produce documents for passing maintenance orders against him.  The burden of proof is being shifted from the accuser to the accused, which is against the principles of Natural Justice.

Now let’s explore how are maintenance laws in other countries. In other developed nations, the maintenance laws are ‘Gender Neutral’. Either spouse can claim maintenance but only till they are gainfully employed.

For example in Sweden maintenance is given when a spouse has difficulty in supporting himself or herself for a transitional period following the divorce. Such transitional maintenance provides the needy spouse with opportunities to seek gainful employment or retraining. Section 7 of Chapter 6 (Maintenance) of the Swedish Marriage Code (Aktenskapsbalken) is: “Following a divorce, each spouse shall be responsible for his or her own support. If a contribution towards the maintenance of either spouse is needed for a transitional period, that spouse shall be entitled to receive maintenance payments from the other spouse on the basis of what is reasonable in view of the latter’s ability and other circumstances.”.

For example in Germany: A spouse must provide for their own maintenance after divorce (Sections 1569, 1577 BGB). Maintenance may only be granted for an intermittent period till the other spouse retrains so as to be employable.

Do read how the laws in developed nations have been made gender neutral and every able bodied individual is required to maintain oneself. Why in India do we promote parasitism?

Happy slavery to all Indian Men….


[i] Section 125(1)(b)

[ii] Section 125(1)(e)

[iii] Section 125(1) and proviso to section 125 and including section 126(10)

[iv] Explanation (c) to be added to section 125

[v] Explanation (d) to be added to section 125

[vi] Section 125 (2)

[vii] Section 125(3) proposed to be renumbered to 126 (3)

[viii] Section 126 (6)

[ix] New section 126 (8) added

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5 Responses to NCW’s Proposed Changes to CRPC 125 (Maintenance Clause)

  1. qualandar says:

    Reblogged this on Indian Lawyers Express.

  2. qualandar says:

    You really put in so much time and labour.

  3. vinay says:

    Wa re gender equality…

  4. MEHUL RATHOD says:

    means government specially NCW is pronoting breakage of family culture. they need only men to be punished. However we can accept it on basis that if cases are found false or procecution failed to prove it all hard earned money of men shall be refunded with intrest and with all cost of fighting such cases

  5. Aadil P. says:

    Oh Boy!
    Laws were already biased, what more do they need now?

    I think what needs to be done is to collect money and print full page adverts in the newspapers on a regular basis citing these laws so that every person out there who is planning to get marry at least understands what all can happen if ever his wife gets unhappy and decides to walk out unsatisfied!

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